By Aman Rashid: After having used the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 as my primary smartphone for the past two weeks, I can confidently say that Samsung fixed two of my major gripes with the Galaxy Z Flip 3 — the battery life and the camera. That said, even beyond its improved battery life, polished camera or the newly refined hinge, Samsung’s latest flipper has a lot to offer.
So, if you’re someone like me who has recently bought the Galaxy Z Flip 4 or if you’re on the fence about getting one, here are some excellent tips and tricks you should know to make the most out of Samsung’s latest flip phone.
We all know that the Flip is hip but, at the end of the day, it’s a phone and a phone’s primary task is to answer phone calls. Flip surely does that and in style. On the Flip phone, you can answer a call by simply flipping the phone in style and you can disconnect a call by shutting the phone with a thud. Well, let me tell you how. Open the phone, tap the three vertical dots in the top-right and go to Settings, tap Flip options and then you can choose to enable/ disable the “Open phone to answer calls” and “Close phone to end calls”. Note that these settings are turned off by default, so if you’re getting a Galaxy Z Flip 4 or you have already started using one, why not enable these settings?
Customise the cover screen
Having a cool mini-screen on the outside can look boring if you have that plain old static wallpaper. Well, what if I tell you that it’s possible to set a video wallpaper that will actually make the cover screen look cooler? Here’s how it works.
Go to Settings and select the cover screen. Up top, you’ll see Clock style that lets you customise how the time and date look on the cover screen. You can select a custom wallpaper from the available options, but if you have a video that you wish to set as your cover screen wallpaper, you can do that by tapping the Clock background image at the bottom and selecting the “Choose from Gallery” option to set a video wallpaper. Additionally, you can also customise how the time and date flash on top of the wallpaper from the available options. Tapping Customise even lets you set the text colour.
Contact favourites and more on the cover screen
Apart from looking cool, the Galaxy Z Flip 4’s cover screen is also your one-stop that lets you interact with the flipper without even flipping it open. Now, I understand it’s still not as versatile as Motorola’s implementation on their latest Razr smartphone, but it still gets the job done for basic tasks. Such as the ability to add your favourite callers, add a calendar, or simply customise the mini screen with a cool video wallpaper. How do you do that?
Once again, go to Settings, cover screen and tap Widgets. From the available options, you can enable/ disable these widgets and you can also reorder them according to your preference. Tapping “Direct Dial” lets you add up to three of your favourite contacts on the cover screen, which are just a swipe away. Other cool widgets include the ability to record your voice, start a timer or control music without even opening the Flip 4.
Quick launch camera
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes with a decent selfie snapper situated in a centre-aligned hole-punch on the main screen. But, what if I tell you that you can take better-looking selfies, that too from the main camera? Simply, double press the power button/ side key to power up the main camera and you can see the preview right on the cover screen. This way, you can take clearer-looking selfie photos/ videos.
One more clever camera trick is to turn on the cover screen preview. So, while you’re taking a subject’s photo/ video, they will be able to see their preview on the cover screen. To turn this feature on, open the phone, launch the camera and enable cover screen preview by hitting the button present in the top-right corner.
Labs and Flex Mode
Going into settings and exploring advanced features will give you options that let you make the most out of the Galaxy Z Flip 4. One such addition is Labs, which brings in experimental features and makes the Flip a Flip. Multi-window for all apps literally lets you run any app in a multi-window. So, Chrome and Netflix? Yes, why not. Additionally, Full screen in Split screen view lets you utilise the complete screen in multi-window mode, hiding the status and navigation bars. Apart from this, there’s Swipe for pop-up view and Swipe for split screen, which only adds to the speed and productivity.
At the bottom, there’s also a Flex mode panel that lets you force flex mode onto apps which do not support Flex mode natively. For those who don’t know, Flex mode lets you use an app in a way where some of the content is present on the top screen, while some of the controls are found on the bottom screen. This works when you fold the phone in an upright position. For instance, the camera in Flex mode utilises the top screen as the viewfinder, while the controls can be found on the bottom screen. Now, of course, not all apps are designed and supported by Flex mode. But in that case, you can always force Flex mode for such apps, and take advantage of the feature.
While I’ve already highlighted how one can double press the side key/ power button to quickly launch the camera, there’s still a bit more that you can do with the Side key. Go to Settings, Advanced features and tap the side key. Now, you can change the double press action to either fire up Samsung Pay or you can even assign the action to fire up an app. Additionally, you can also change the Press and hold to enable the good old Power off menu. This is especially a lifesaver for those who aren’t big fans of Bixby.
Motions and Gestures
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 also comes with a few gesture settings that aren’t enabled by default. And seeing the unconventional form-factor of the Z Flip 4, i.e. a small block when folded, and a tall phone when unfolded, I can assure you that some of the gestures can be a lifesaver. Go to Settings, Advanced features and tap Motions and gestures. From this menu, I’d suggest enabling everything apart from the Keep screen on while viewing, because it only drains that extra bit of battery. And you should also keep the Palm swipe to capture disabled because, honestly, swiping your palm across the screen to take a screenshot isn’t intuitive.
Other options such as Lift to wake automatically light up the screen whenever you pick it up. This is very helpful to access the cover screen because hitting the power menu when the phone is folded feels quite a bit tricky. Apart from this, double tap to turn the screen on and off does best what its name suggests. You’ll also see finger sensor gestures around the bottom. Tap and open, and now you can access the notification panel by simply swiping your thumb across the Side key. This is especially helpful since the Flip 4 is a tall phone when unfolded, and reaching the top of the screen could be a task for some.
Stacked widgets were made popular with iOS 15. But iOS only works on iPhones and not everyone has an iPhone. So, if you have eyes on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, you would be glad to know that you can enjoy iOS’s stack widget functionality in Samsung’s style. Simply, long-press on the homescreen, tap Widgets, tap Smart Widget, select the size and set it on the homescreen. This way, you no longer need to have a separate widget for a separate app. Instead, with the Smart Widget, you can have multiple widgets of different apps/actions stacked on top of one another. You can, of course, add more widgets to the Smart Widget by long-pressing it, Add Widget and then selecting your preferred one.
These were some of the coolest tips and tricks to make the most out of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4. So, if you already have the Galaxy Z Flip 4 or are planning to get one, do try these.